Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: +2

Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz (hubba-hubba), Ian McShane, Geoffrey Rush. Action/adventure/comedy Written by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio. Directed by Rob Marshall.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Captain Jack Sparrow unexpectedly finds himself looking for the fountain of youth, alongside the fierce pirate Blackbeard and a woman pirate from his past. He soon finds himself fighting zombies – yes, I said, zombies – and making friends with a mermaid (that’s for you who have no interest in zombies).

PREVIEW REVIEW: My first reaction to the mascara wearing, swishy Captain Jack back in 2003 was that he was a bit foppish. Soon we learned that the character was marooned for several years by a traitorous first mate and left with nothing to nourish the body and soul but a buried treasure of Jamaican rum. So, his demeanor may be due to a perpetual state of intoxication. Either way, Depp unapologetically plays his swishing seafarer as if he were a cross between Dudley Moore’s inebriated Arthur and Dame Edna.

A bit long and certainly not as energetic as the film’s background score implies, but it’s good action fare. Penelope Cruz doesn’t add much to the proceedings, but as I mentioned in the credits, hubba-hubba.

One interesting note: there’s a young man presented as a shipwrecked clergyman. Though he is the butt of a few jokes, he’s not mocked, nor is his vocation. Indeed, at one point, Captain Jack seeks spiritual aid from the minister. Well, actually, Jack is angling to get into Heaven (to get all the goodies) should his present scheme fail and he find himself hanging from the highest yardarm. He’s hedging his bets. Still, I’m always interested when a central character in a movie discusses Heaven, the afterlife and faith.

Other than some bawdy booby humor, it’s a clean film devoid of objectionable language or excessive violence (read the content section).

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Disney Studios

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A couple of bawdy comments.

Obscene Language: In anger at Captain Jack’s scurrilous ways, a woman yells out “bastard”

Profanity: I caught none.

Violence: There is some scary imagery, what with zombies and a main character disintegrating by film’s end – this may disturb little ones; there’s lots of swashbuckling daring do; a zombie gets a sword run through him, but that never stopped a good zombie; another scary moment, the alluring – discreetly shadowed mermaids – suddenly become threatening, displaying vampire-like teeth.

Sex: A couple of suggestive comments and implications of past indiscretions, but mostly handled with a family audience in mind.

Nudity: None, the mermaids may be topless, but their hair and the filmmaker’s discretion covers all.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Brief.

Drugs: Some rum drinking – hey, they’re pirates – that’s what pirates do.

Other: None

Running Time: 135 minutes
Intended Audience: Preteens and Up

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